Monday, January 25, 2010
Switzerland, some rogue nation?
Various categories of persons including Popes, presidents, prime ministers, corrupt dictators, wealthy business men, and drug dealers have all used and benefited from the banking secrecy laws of Switzerland. As a result her economy has been described as an underground economy, a deposit box for dirty money and a “dirt-driven economy”.
Over the last couple of years countries such as United States, Germany and France have argued that they have become victims of Swiss illegal financial activities and as a result have stepped up their campaign to get Swiss authorities to cooperate in fighting tax evasion and money laundering. The campaign has even brought a row between the German Finance Minister and members of Swiss parliament. These nations claim they are loosing billions of dollars annually through tax evasion and other illegal financial activities. In 2009, an action by the US Justice Department against the Swiss Banking giant UBS earned the United States close to $1 billion. In 2001, the United States learned that the Swiss had protected the bank that handled finances for Osama Bin Laden. One of them, the Bahrain International Bank, had funds transiting through non-published accounts of Clearstream, which has been qualified as a “bank of banks” and was involved in one of Luxembourg’s major financial scandals.
Western governments have argued that dirty money in many forms welcomed by Switzerland allows the proceeds of corruption, drug trafficking, racketeering and terrorism to tag alongside and deny the world´s poor the chance to escape poverty. Swiss banks are reputed to be holding an estimated 35% of the world’s private and institutional funds (or 3 trillion Swiss francs)”.
However, of all the victims of Swiss banking secrecy laws and her shady banking practices, developing countries and Africa in particular seem to have suffered the most. The global infrastructure of international financial secrecy with headquarters in Switzerland has helped bleed trillions of dollars in illicitly generated money out of Africa and the rest of the developing world. The activities of Swiss banking institutions and real estate companies have plunged third world nations into debts, poverty, misery, malnutrition, diseases, economic meltdown, infrastructural decay and political instabilities through the help they give to corrupt politicians, civil servants, the business elite and corrupt multinational corporations who collude and connive with the corrupt entities to loot and hide the proceeds of their ill-gotten gains.
Many third world countries especially those in Africa lack the infrastructures needed to run successful economies. They lack schools, hospitals, roads, harbours, rail infrastructure, irrigation facilities, electricity, clean water, telecommunication, sanitation facilities because of the looting. Many children are orphaned and malnourished and many do not have access to education and health care because money meant for all that are stolen and sitting in Swiss banks such UBS, Credit Suisse. There has not been a single corrupt politician or dictator in Africa, Latin America and Asia who has not had dealings with this secretive alpine country. While third world countries continue to struggle to provide the basic necessities of life, the Swiss economy is awash with money that could save millions from hunger, starvation and diseases.
Every year since the year 2000, developing countries receive about $100 billion in aid annually from rich countries with about $10 billion going to Africa but these rich countries headed by Switzerland receive about $900 billion from these poor countries ($150 billion from Africa) in the form of tax evasion, embezzlement, fraud accounting, debt servicing and corruption. The World Bank´s Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative estimates the cross-border flow of proceeds from criminal activities, corruption and tax evasion at between $1 trillion and $1.6 trillion per year, about half of which come from developing and transitional economies.
Global Financial Integrity agrees with World Bank assessment and says, “$900 billion is secreted each year from underdeveloped economies, with an estimated $11.5 trillion currently stashed in havens. More than one quarter of these hubs belong to the UK, while Switzerland washes one-third of global capital flight” Source March 26,
The Africa Union says 25 percent of the GDP of African States is lost to corruption every year, amounting to more than $150 billion a year. Source the BBC News, 18 September, 2002. The negative impact of that has been increasing the cost of goods by as much as 20%, deterring investment, holding back development and preventing the people from escaping poverty. The fact, as pointed out by GFI, is that the money that denies poor countries the chance to escape poverty sits in Swiss Banks.
Over the last couple of years a number of Swiss banks have been accused of accepting money from dictators like Sani Abacha, Mobutu, Lansana Conte, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Arap Moi, Omar Bongo, Obiang Nguema, Blaise Campore, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Eduardo dos Santos, Sadam Hussein, Ferdinand Marcos, Baby Doc Duvalier, Hosni Mubarak, Yoweri Museveni, Augusto Pinochet, Gaddafi and the evil genius Ibrahim Babangida, without due diligence and without questioning the source of their wealth. For example Swiss economy was the main recipient and beneficiary of Sani Abacha´s $5 billion embezzlement of Nigeria´s oil money. When it was discovered that Abacha used the crooked banks in Switzerland to steal the money, the authorities there wanted to distance their country from the criminal enterprise run by their banks and benefited by her economy and citizens. But in the end, they had no choice but to repatriate over $700-million to the government of Nigeria after five years of foot dragging. Source:Sudan Vision, August, 2005.
The banks in Switzerland that aided, abetted and provided sanctuary for Abacha´s stolen money are UBS AG, Zurich; UBS AG, Geneva; Union Bancaire Privee, Geneva; Credit Suisse, Zurich ; Bank Len, Zurich; Banque Barring Brothers, Geneva; Goldman Sachs and Company, Zurich; Gothard Bank, Geneva; Citibank Zurich; Banque Nationale De Paris, Basle; FIBI Bank (Schweiz) A. G. Zurich. Source: Tell Magazine, October 7, 2002. Only heaven knows how much of Abacha´s loot still remain in these banks.
Again the Arab daily newspapers Asharq Al-Awsat and Al-Hayat reported that former Prime Minister Dr. Iyad Allawi told them in interviews that Saddam Hussein admitted he invested stolen Iraqi money which the Iraqi Governing Council estimated at $40 billion in Switzerland, Japan and Germany, among others, under fictitious company names. Directors of those shell companies would deposit 5% in company bank accounts, and the money was effectively laundered. Swiss and French lawyers did the paperwork. Source: Daily News, 3rd May 2003. One million Iraqis died during the UN oil for food programme while money that could have saved them was accepted by Swiss Banks and their corrupt counterparts in Japan and Germany.
Also after 18 years of legal wrangling, Switzerland agreed to let the people of Philippines receive the $684m looted by Ferdinand Marcos and kept by her crooked banks. Source: Global Corruption Report, 2007. Switzerland kept close to $700m while children were starving to death and hospitals were closing down for lack of medicines and electricity.
Furthermore, between August 2001 and 2004, Peru recovered nearly over $180 million stolen by her former spy chief Vladimiro Montesinos from several jurisdictions including Switzerland, Cayman Islands and the United States. In May 2007, an agreement between the governments of the United States, Switzerland and Kazakhstan allowed for the repatriation of $84 million denied the people for many years. Again, it took Switzerland 12 years to return $74m of the $110m stolen by Raul Salinas to the government of Mexic. Source:BBC News, 19 June 2008. The headline of the story on BBC website reads, "Dirty money sent back to Mexico". The fact is that there are a number of such dirty monies in Swiss Banks from Arap Moi's corrupt dealings to Omar Bongo's thievery of Gabon's oil money.
Switzerland still has in her possession the money looted by the dictator ´Baby Doc´ Duvalier 24 years after he was chased away by the poor people of Haiti. Source: Asset Recovery, 1 September 2007.
Additionally, when Mobutu died in 1997 Swiss newspapers reported that the country may be home to at least $5 billion of Mobutu´s stolen assets. The report was also confirmed by CNN World News in September, 1997. The whole world was shocked when Swiss authorities announced that Mobutu´s stolen assets in the country totalled something just under $8m and this was after they had sold his villa for $2 million. The shock sent a chill down the spine of Democratic Republic of Congo´s president. He has still not recovered and has refused to show any interest in pursuing the money.
In recent years, Switzerland has repatriated some of the money her banks criminally accepted at the expense of poor nations and Swiss political leadership is using it to score cheap political points instead of being ashamed of it. Mali has received just $2.5 million out of the estimated $5 billion deposited in that country by Mali´s corrupt political leaders, among them former dictator Moussa Traore. Argentina has also received $4.5 million from Switzerland in a bribery case. Source: OdiousDebts.org
It is believed that most of the $2 billion stolen by ex- President Arap Moi's family is stashed in Switzerland and her sister countries in the Alpine region. In 2003, investigation by the international risk consultancy firm Kroll on behalf of government of Kenya into allegations of corruption on the part of Arap Moi's government revealed a trail of corrupt practices by Arap Moi, his children, members of his government and their associates with most of their 24 years of ill-gotten wealth hiding in Switzerland, Britain, Luxembourg and the Caribbean. Credit Suisse, Zurich and Citibank, Geneva came up several times as the banks where most of the loots are being kept. "During the beginning of December 2003, Philip Moi, son of Arap Moi, made his move through Zara his wife. She left Kenya for Italy, from where she visited Leichtenstein and Lugano located inside the Swiss canton of Tieino. It is believed that Tieino, though a remote area, consists of over 100 banks and it is here that Zara helped her husband to launder and hide most of the money he stole from his country. Zara/Rosanna Moi, Philip's Italian wife, estimates Philip's worth to be USD750 million." Source: Kroll Report, 2003. http://wikileaks.org/wiki/KTM_report#Target_3
Switzerland has mounted fierce campaign to portray herself as a clean, responsible country. "A senior Swiss diplomat says Switzerland no longer deserves its reputation as a save haven for the ill-gotten gains of corrupt dictators. Speaking in Geneva, Ambassador Paul Seger said the government had returned $1.6 billion (SFr1.9 billion) of stolen funds in recent years" but also admitted that "incidents such as the Marcos, Abacha or Montesinos affairs reinforce the international perception that there are still more assets to be returned". Source: Swissinfo. The question is what reputation does Switzerland deserve apart from being a save haven centre? Is it a clean, transparent and cooperative country?
The fact is that Swiss authorities have not been able to convince anyone that they still do not hold money for Omar Bongo, Lansana Conte, Obiang Nguemaa, Denis Sassou Nguesso, Eduardo dos Santos, Blaise Campore, Gaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, Arap Moi, Gnassingbe Eyadema, Ibrahim Babaginda, Jerry Rawlings; all of them corrupt dictators with little to show for the billions of dollars that they received from the sale of oil, gas, gold, diamond, timber and other resources.
During the trial of the disgraced Elf executives, they claimed that they paid Omar Bongo $50 million a year for concession rights in his oil rich but economically impoverished country.The executives claimed the millions of dollars were transferred into Bongo's Swiss bank accounts. But we have not heard any comment from Switzerland regarding that money and now that Bongo is dead there is no doubt that what Democratic Republic of Congo went through will be the fate for Gabon should they make any attempt to retrieve the money. It is common knowledge that the late Omar Bongo of Gabon, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo, Dos Santos of Angola, Obiang Nguema of E. Guinea like their old friends (Abacha, Mobutu and Conte) have billions of dollars stashed in Swiss Banks.
Where Swiss leaders do not get it, is that their past and present actions have led millions of people who could have lived to die of poverty, malnutrition, starvation and diseases. While more than 800 million Indians live in poverty and in squalor, with little access to education, health, water and sanitation, the BJP party estimated during the May 2009 election campaign that the nation has lost close to $1.4 trillion most of it stashed in foreign banks notably in Switzerland.
In 2007, Swiss federal prosecutors abandoned an investigation into suspected money laundering activities involving the former prime minister of Madagascar. As a result, a Swiss bank will refund SFr2.8 million ($2.3 million) to Tantely Andrianarivo, a move that has "disappointed and shocked" the Madagascan government, which has demanded the money back" to be used to help millions of people languishing in poverty. Source: Swissinfo.ch.
There are well known experts who still believe Switzerland deserves her reputation. Richard Murphy, director of Tax Research LLP says: "The idea that Switzerland has a clean economy is a joke; it is a dirt-driven economy". Her economy is dirt-driven because her financial institutions (a vital sector of her economy) have been implicated in a number of corruption scandals involving corrupt third world leaders and their associates. In fact, Switzerland can best be described as an economic vampire, parasite and predator feeding on the economies of poor African and third world countries. The Swiss Bankers Association claims that four-fifths of the nation supports banking secrecy laws. This law is the foundation of all the corruption, embezzlement, tax evasions and all the criminal enterprises that we see in the world.
The sad thing about this parasitic behaviour is that it is supported by almost all the citizens of that country. The Swiss Bankers Association claims that four-fifths of the nation supports banking secrecy, revealing a society deeply embedded in a culture of impunity and exploitation, where the licit acts as a shield protecting the illicit in a terribly respectable manner. Source:Global Policy, March 26, 2009.
But Switzerland has had it both ways with her hypocrisy and double standards. Her politicians condemn corruption in Africa and the third world while her banks make fortunes off that corruption. She claims to be a champion of democracy and development but the actions of her banks and companies like SGS, UBS have proven other wise. If there is any justice in the world, her banking executives should have been put on trial by the International Criminal Court for crime against humanity because there is no difference between those who use guns to kill and those who kill millions by accepting to hide money that could be used to save them from hunger, starvation, malnutrition, diseases and provide them with medicines, water, shelter, schools and electricity.
The cost of Switzerland's collusion and connivance with the corrupt entities in Africa and the third world fall primarily on the poor people in those poor countries, who are denied every opportunity to escape poverty. Many live in squalor with no access to health and sanitation facilities, water, electricity, housing and even food. Over one million people in those poor countries die of malaria, 90% of them from Africa, with most of the victims being children. Millions of others also die from starvation, hunger, malnutrition, polio, measles, tuberculosis and six killer diseases. The crime of those who die, and those who continue to suffer, is that they happen to have corrupt, incompetent leaders and a counterpart in Europe who is ready to protect their looted funds.
As monies meant for development are stolen and stashed in Swiss Banks, the poor are left on their own to fend for themselves with aid agencies being left to pick up the pieces with them. Millions have died, millions are starving and many more are suffering as a result of the role played by Swiss banks, real estate agencies and other companies. In this 21st century, such suffering cannot go on forever. Switzerland cannot continue to be a willful accomplice in crimes involving the death of millions of children and women.
It is therefore time for Switzerland to act as a responsible member of the global community, tear down her banking secrecy laws and her corrupt financial infrastructures which are responsible for the deaths and hunger of millions of people. It is time for Switzerland to stop her banks from accepting looted funds from Africa and the third world that make so many face starvation, hunger and death. The banks must be called to order and should be tasked to employ due diligence in dealing with their clients, especially the dictators and their associates from Africa and the third world.
Finally, it is time for Switzerland to turn words of fighting corruption into action and deeds and repatriate all the stolen money to its rightful owners and stop parasiting on poor African and third world countries so they can also have the opportunity to escape poverty like most citizens of Switzerland have.
Monday, January 04, 2010
Sunday, January 03, 2010
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab; Coincidence or Happenstance?
"An attack on Christmas and an excuse for further war and domestic tyranny was the main gig. But a key side deal here is probably getting the necessary permanent silence from Mutallab's father, who probably knows too much about Zionist Jew Mossad running Nigeria, Africa and the WORLD.
He may have subtly indicated discomfort with something, probably the US/Saudi/Israeli proxy terror war against his wife's country, Yemen. The Yemeni wife may also be the target. She may know someone in Yemen and may have explained to Yemen who "Al Qaeda" in Yemen really is, which is why Yemen is now openly telling the world that "Al Qaeda" is really ISRAELI."~Leland Lehrman
The Christmas Day attempt by the Nigerian son of a prominent Nigerian banker and business tycoon connected closely to top Nigerian leaders to detonate a chemical improvised explosive device aboard Delta Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Detroit was a false flag operation carried out by the intelligence tripartite grouping of the CIA, Mossad, and India's Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), according to WMR's Asian intelligence sources who closely monitor the activities of the three agencies in India and Southeast Asia.
The tripartite alliance of the CIA, Mossad, and RAW were behind the terrorist attacks on Mumbai earlier this year and on December 28, Rupee News reported the three agencies worked together, along with former Afghan KHAD intelligence agents, to assassinated former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto: "The Benazir assassination was pre-planned and executed via triangulation by Khad, RAW, CIA and Mossad using the most modern radio active weapons available in the market. The Israeli PM publicly admitted helping India in Kargil recently. The purpose of the covert Khad, RAW, CIA, Mossad operations is to destabilize Pakistan. The IMF plan to de-fang Pakistan in 2000 did not work, but provincial autonomy will make the center bankrupt triggering an implosion."
The outcome of the failed terrorist attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on the Detroit-bound plane has resulted in major Christmas gifts for the neocons and militarists who still call the shots on U.S. policy: the deployment of privacy-invasive millimeter wave (MMW) full body scanning equipment at airports in North America and Europe [ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Peter King (R-NY), who is an ardent defender of the Catholic Church and its prelates in Ireland, has defended the scanning system which can image the naked bodies of passengers, including children and babies], an increase in the U.S. military and intelligence presence in Yemen, retention of US PATRIOT Act surveillance provisions, an increase in racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims -- and because Mutallab is African -- blacks in the United States, and more cumbersome travel restrictions for airline passengers.
The neocon propagandists are already spinning counter-claims to reports that indicate that Mutallab was a witting accomplice of a larger plot cooked up by American, Israeli, ajd Indian intelligence agents to carry out yet another false flag terror operation on American soil. The eyewitness testimonies of Michigan attorney Kurt Haskell and his attorney wife Lori Haskell are being pilloried by the corporate media after the two were featured on major U.S. television networks. Haskell and his wife witnessed a "well-dressed Indian man" arrange for Mutallab to board Delta 253 without a passport at the check-in desk at Schiphol. Haskell told CBS News: "Only the Indian man spoke, and what he said was, this man needs to board the plane, and he doesn't have a passport. And the ticket agent then responded saying you need a passport to board the plane, and the Indian man then said he's from Sudan. We do this all the time."
WMR has learned that the Indian man is suspected by Asian intelligence services of being an RAW agent who used his influence to convince airline and airport security personnel that Mutallab was a bona fide Sudanese refugee. Mutallab reportedly spent several hours in a Schiphol airport lounge before boarding the Delta flight. Dutch agents are reportedly scanning Schiphol CCTV footage and have reason to believe that Mutallab had accomplices at the airport, which bolsters the witness accounts of the Haskells. The FBI has interviewed the Haskells and the bureau, as is its modus operandi, appears to be intimidating witnesses and pressuring them to support the government's party line.
The neocon spin machine is also refuting reports that Mutallab traveled to the United States without a passport and that his ticket was only one-way. The facts emerging are that Mutallab was not traveling on a Nigerian passport but on an Italian passport. Mutallab's father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, happens to hold the Italian Order of Merit. In addition, Mutallab's ticket was purchased in Accra, Ghana with $2,831 in cash and was later re-issued, on December 16, with a different itinerary at the KLM office in Lagos. The original itinerary was Lagos-Amsterdam-Detroit-Amsterdam-Accra but the return leg on January 8, 2010, was changed from Amsterdam to Lagos instead of Accra.
Previously, WMR reported that the security company that cleared Mutallab in Schiphol is ICTS, a firm that is headquartered in Israel and Amstelveen, Netherlands. The firm also cleared attempted shoe bomber Richard Reid for a Miami-bound American Airlines flight from Paris in December 2001. Reid, who was bound for Antigua, was profiled after he purchased his ticket at a travel agency in the 18th arrondisement in Paris. Reid had previously traveled to Turkey, Pakistan, Israel, Egypt, the Netherlands, Belgium and France and he obtained pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), a component of the explosive Semtex, and his specially-designed shoes in Amsterdam. Reid was linked by French authorities to French convert to Islam Jerome Courtailler, who, in 2004, was sentenced in absentia by a Dutch court to six years for plotting to attack U.S. targets in Belgium and France. Mutallab's undershorts also contained PETN.
There is a possibility that Mutallab was recruited to carry out a false flag attack after another one failed on November 13. A Somali man was arrested at Mogadishu airport with the same chemicals, powder, and syringe combination that Mutallab used to ignite his clothing. The Somali man was attempting to board a Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, Djibouti, and Dubai.
Daallo is the national flag carrier of Djibouti and is owned by Dubai World's Istithmar World Aviation (IWA) Holdings. Dubai World's recent financial woes sent shock waves through the global financial community. It is also noteworthy that Delta 253 passenger Jasper Schuringa, the young man who wrestled Mutallab to the ground and prevented him from carrying out his terrorist mission, was driven to Schiphol on Christmas morning by his friend Chris Van Amersfoort. Van Amersfoort's Facebook page lists himself as a "fan of" Dubai World's owner "His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum," the Emir of Dubai.
Daallo Airlines has an interline agreement with a single U.S. airline, which happens to be Delta Airlines, the same airline that saw Mutallab successfully board its flight 253 in Schiphol. The AHAS similar agreements with other airlines that fly to the United States, including Qatar Airways, Saudia, Ethiopian Airlines, and Alitalia.
Schuringa's father works for Shell and in 1993 they were evacuated by the French foreign Legion from Gabon during riots by demonstrators opposed to the tainted re-election of Gabon's presidential dictator Omar Bongo. The Curacao-born Jasper Schuringa attended film school in Miami and he also lived in Oman. After accusations in the media that he was publicizing himself over the Muttalab incident, Schuringa largely receded from public view. Schuringa was en route to Costa Rica via Detroit to visit his sister. The National Counter-terrorism office in The Hague is being mum about any connections it had with Schuringa, according to the Dutch paper Parool.
On October 18, a little less than a month prior to the attempt by the syringe- and chemical-armed Somali to board the Daallo Airlines flight from Mogadishu, Shaykh Muqtaar Abu Zubeyr, the leader of Somalia's radical Al Shahab Islamic Movement, warned Somalis in leaflets distributed in Mogadoshu's Bakaraha market and other points in the city not to fly on Daallo Airlines, Somalia's largest carrier, because he said the airline had "close ties" with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, the United States and the "Jewish government" of Israel.
Before moving from Egypt, Mutallab was in an MBA course in Dubai at the time of the Daallo warning. Mutallab later dropped out of school in Dubai.
Mutallab's father Umaru, the retired Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), is among the top elite of Nigeria, counting among his friends the top royalty of northern Nigeria, including the Emir of Gombe, the Emir of Zazzau, and the Sultan of Sokoto, as well as Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar' Adua, who has been recovering from a mysterious illness in Saudi Arabia. Mutallab's empire included FBN (UK), which its president described as "the very first UK bank owned by a Nigerian bank and could be counted as an equal to other UK banks." Mutallab was also a contender to be President of the National Council of the Nigeria Stock Exchange. In 2003, Mutallab formed Nigeria's first Islamic bank, Jaiz International Bank.
The same bureaucratic stove-piping issues used by the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities to explain away the lack of intelligence on the 9/11 attacks are at play with the Delta 253 incident. Of course, all these problems were to have been solved by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the Directorate of National Intelligence. Mutallab was entered as a terrorist suspect in the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database of 500,000 names maintained by the Director of National Intelligence's National Counter-terrorism Center (NCTC) but not on the "no fly" list maintained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
On November 19, just six days after the Somali attempted to board the plane in Mogadishu with a syringe and chemicals, the elder Mutallab met with the CIA Station Chief at the U.S. embassy in Abuja, the Nigerian capital. Mutallab told the CIA official that he was concerned about the radicalization of his son, who was called "Alfa" -- a term for Islamic scholar -- while attending the British International School in Lome, Togo. The elder Mutallab was quite emphatic that his son posed a significant security risk.
After dropping out of the MBA program in Dubai, the younger Mutallab turned off his cell phone and destroyed the phone's SIM card before leaving Dubai for Yemen where it is said he wished to imrove his Arabic. It is not known who bought Mutallab's ticket to Detroit in Accra and why the return destination was changed from Accra to Lagos. Mutallab's multiple entry visa for the United States was issued on June 16, 2008 with an expiration date of June 16, 2010.
In response to the elder Mutallab's warning, the U.S. embassy in Abuja, the embassy sent a Visa Viper cable to the State Department and NCTC on November 20. However, Mutallab's name was not added to the no-fly list. The State Department is refusing to disclose the classification of Mutallab's visa and State Department spokesman Ian Kelly is refusing to reveal information on Mutallab's visa application.
Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab; unanswered questions
It has now been established that the Yemeni government refused Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Mutallab visa to go in search of his wayward son and return him home to Nigeria, severally. It was consequent to this that Dr. Mutallab decided to contact the US Embassy in Abuja and Nigeria's security outfits. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who was pursuing a post graduate degree in the United Arab Emirates visited Yemen to participate in a short course in Arabic studies with the permission of his parents but later wrote to them saying he would like to embark on another five year study programme in Yemen.
The elder Mutallab refused to grant his son’s request and insisted he should return to Dubai or UAE to complete his masters degree programme threatening to cut off funding if he refused. Farouk retorted that cutting off funding would not deter him from pursuing the said studies. Thereafter, Farouk disabled his telephone lines both in Dubai and Yemen after informing his family that would be the last time they would be hearing from him.
We have also learnt that the security community in Nigeria failed to share information as it related to the Abdulmutallab affair. The State Security Service blamed the Nigerian Intellingence Agency for failing to share key information two months ago about Umar Abdulfarouk Abdulmutallab. Two senior DSS officials confirmed that the agency Mr Abdulmutallab Snr. briefed was the NIA. They went on to claim that although their agency was responsible for maintaining airport "watch-lists" of people under suspicion, the NIA had not shared the father's information with them.
It has also emerged that the US gave Nigeria four full-body scanners for deployment to the country’s international airports as a deterrent against explosives and drugs, but none were used on Abdulmutallab when he boarded the Detroit-bound flight, officials working for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency confirmed. It was learnt that even though the full-body scanners have been in the country, they were not put to use due to cultural and privacy concerns.
However, even word of the scanners’ presence in Nigeria's four main airports apparently hasn't reached top officials, including those responsible for airline safety. Harold Demuren, the head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, told reporters on Wednesday that his government would buy 3-D full-body scanners for the airports, and insisted there were currently none there. But Thursday, Ofoyeju Mitchell of NDLEA, told the AP that one of the machines sits in a room near the security checkpoint at the Lagos international airport. He said they are not used on all passengers, instead, drug agents select frequent flyers, travellers heading to and from drug shipment points, and people who seem deceptive or under stress.
“The frequency of checks is determined by the risk level of our assessment ... (and) reasonable cause for suspicion,” Mitchell said.
Such limited use would not be what the US State Department intended when it gave Nigeria the scanners. According to an April 30, 2009, US State Department report, the scanners were installed in March, May and June of 2008 ''to detect explosives and drugs on passengers.''
The question remains why did all these security agencies fail? The Nigerian security failure copycats the US security failure in which, strangely also, crucial information was not shared between their communities. Why did the FBI initially deny the arrest of a second individual at Detroit airport? Why is Abdulmutallab being charged for the lesser crime of trying to cause damage to an airliner instead of terrorism? Why was he not placed on the no-fly list especially after strong complaints to Nigeria's CIA chief of station about Farouk's extremist tendencies? Why is the US administration still insisting Abdulmutallab was travelling with a valid passport?
What was Farouk's state of mind upon arriving Detroit, especially considering that eye witness accounts claimed he looked dazed and terrified and that he was on fire yet kept perfectly still? Who was the Indian looking man with him at Schipol airport? Why did Yemen refuse his father a visa to travel to Yemen especially as one of his wives is a Yemeni citizen and he must have visited several times prior to the said incident? Was Mutallab travelling with an Italian passport, if he was, why would the Indian looking guy claim he was Sudanese and had no travelling documents? Was this passport found on his person and was it stamped at Schipol airport, Ghana or Nigeria? Finally, how is it possible for anybody to fly into America without travelling documents, under whatever pretext, without confirming clearance from the local US Embassy?~Egoigwe.
Friday, January 01, 2010
Who are Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's parents?
Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Mutallab (Farouk's father) was Nigeria's Federal Minister for Economic Development in 1975. By virtue of his position as Minister, he was instrumental in ushering the World Bank and International Monetary Fund into the country. He later served as Managing Director/Vice Chairman to United Bank for Africa for ten years (from 1978-1988) and lately, as Chairman to First Bank of Nigeria for another thirteen years. Mutallab was appointed to the Board of First Bank in 1996 and became its Chairman in 1999, he retired from that position on 13th December, 2009. He attended Barewa College, Zaria, Achimota College, Accra, Ghana and the South West London College, London. First Bank of Nigeria is exactly what its name portrays, Nigeria's first established bank and its very biggest aside the country's Central Bank. It was established in the late nineteenth century.
Today, Umaru Mutallab sits on the board of Nigeria's first proposed Islamic Bank as Chairman, Jaiz International Plc. Other board members include Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha Bintube, Dr. Aminu Alhassan Dantata CON, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdullateef Adegbite, Engr. Bunu Sheriff Musa, Malam Falalu Bello OFR, Alhaji (Chief) Abdulazeez Ude, Alhaji Sani Salihu Anka, Alhaji Tajudeen Aminu Dantata, Alhaji Nafiu Baba-Ahmed, Alhaji Shuaibu Ahmed, Group Captain Usman Jibrin (rtd), Alhaji Zayyana Ahmed, Ambassador Yerima Abdullahi and Alhaji Aminu Sule Garo. Key management staff of the proposed bank are Hassan Usman, General Manager, Investment Banking, Abdu Sa'id, General Manager, Corporate Services and Mallam Ismaila Adam, Manager, Admin and Finance.
On its website, Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab is described as a major investor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the proposed Bank, a professional accountant with over 30 years experience in Development Banking, Commercial and Merchant Banking, a current Chairman of First Bank Nigeria Plc (formerly Standard Bank) the oldest and biggest Bank in Nigeria in terms of capital (over $270million) and second largest in terms of Deposits and Assets (over $1.5 billion and $2.7 billion respectively) and he is also said to be on the board of several major companies in Nigeria.
It is also noteworthy that amongst its board members are Dr. Alhassan Dantata who is Chairman, Board of Trustees for Islamic Forum of Nigeria, Dr. Adegbite is the Secretary General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (1989 to date) and Legal Adviser to the Council (1974-1989). He is also a member of several Islamic organizations both locally and internationally. Alhaji Nafiu Baba-Ahmed is currently the Secretary General, Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria. Group Captain Jubrin (rtd) is the treasurer to the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria. The Times On Line describes the 70 year old Mutallab as one of Africa's richest men.
It is believed Farouk's mother is from Yemen and is Mutallab Snr's favorite wife. Very little is known about her but it is believed that when Farouk intended to leave the United Arab Emirates for Yemen, a sojourn he said would last seven years, his mother asked him to reconsider that move. He was said to have told his mother to stay away because he had found a new life and was breaking all ties with his family.
It was established by an act of parliament in 1964 and technical support as well as weaponry assembly were carried out by the West German firm of Fritz Werner originally. The mission statement set out for the corporation by the Act, includes the operation, maintenance and control of Ordnance factories for the manufacture, storage and disposal of weapons, and ancillary stores and material intended for or capable of being used by the Armed Forces. On Tuesday, 03 November, 2009 at about 5 pm during close of business for the day an explosion occurred at the said Corporation which hospitalized six workers of the factory. Mutallab also served on the boards of Arewa Textiles Limited, NEPA (Nigeria's Electricity Power Authority), NACB (Nigeria's Agricultural Bank), NCC (Communications Commission), Nigeria Agip Oil, and the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria [CCNN]. He is also Chairman of Impresit Bakolori Plc, Incar Nigeria Plc, Spring Waters Nigeria Limited (SWAN) and Chairman, Business Support Group of the Vision 202020.
He started his working career in 1965 as Management Accountant with Fuller Jenks Beecroft & Co in London. Mutallab is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered and Certified Accountants (FCCA), Fellow Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA), Fellow Institute of the International Bankers Association of the United States (FIBA) and Fellow Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.
He holds the Nigerian National Honour of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and the Italian National Honour of Commander of the Order of Merit.
Meanwhile, United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has granted access to Nigerian diplomatic officials to meet with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who attempted to ignite a powder aboard a Delta airline before it landed in Detroit on Friday.
A source at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC confirmed the development to the News Agency Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Saturday.
It said: ``We have made contact with the FBI and they have permitted some of our officers to visit the suspect in Detroit.
``Two officials, one from our embassy in Washington DC and the other from the Nigeria consulate in New York are already in Detroit to meet with Abdulmutallab,’’ the source said.
The source added that the purpose of the visit was ``to verify the identity of the suspect and if he is truly a Nigerian citizen.’’
NAN reports that following the alleged attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane, security checks have been intensified on all major U.S. airports.
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: Where did he go after he left Yemen?
Saharareporters has obtained a copy of the international passport (#A-392-1640) of alleged syringe-bomber, Farouk Umar AbdulMuttalab, the 23-year-old Nigerian who is currently being held in a US prison after he was arrested on Christmas day following a failed plot to bomb Northwest flight 253 only minutes before landing in Detroit. According to the document, which was issued in Lagos on September 15 2005, Farouk was born on December 22nd 1986.
International and Nigerian investigators are still unable to unravel the whereabouts of Farouk after he left Yemen early in December 2009. Farouk later appeared in Ghana where he purchased a return ticket and later headed to Lagos.
Upon arrival in Lagos, he changed that ticket and boarded a flight to Detroit via Amsterdam. Although Nigerian authorities claimed he "sneaked into Nigeria” on Christmas Eve to board the KLM flight to Amsterdam, Saharareporters sources said Farouk had been around Lagos before and after he went to Ghana, for some reason, to purchase the ticket that he later changed in Lagos. It would appear that Nigerian security officials are covering up privileged people that may have provided material support to Umar as he prepared to depart for the US, although it is conceivable they may have helped him without knowing his mission.
A family source said Farouk was “generally around” during the celebrations marking his father's retirement from First Bank, but would not elaborate any further as Dr. Umaru Muttallab has ordered all members of the family to cease further cooperation with the media. Also, Saharareporters' efforts to contact a woman who sources described as Farouk’s sister in New York has been unsuccessful. The sister, now married, reportedly just had a baby and would not speak with us.
It is now now being reported that Yemeni officials claim Abdulmutallab left Yemen on Dec. 7 on a flight to Ethiopia and then continued on a few days later to Ghana~Egoigwe.